Parts of Speech

Conjunctions: The Ties That Bind

Conjunctions connect words or groups of words and show how they are related. There are three kinds of conjunctions: coordinating conjunctions, correlative conjunctions, and subordinating conjunctions. Let's look at each one.

  1. Coordinating conjunctions link words or word groups. Here are the seven coordinating conjunctions:
    • for
    • and
    • but
    • or
    • yet
    • so
    • nor
    • And now for some examples:
    • Eat one live toad the first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.
    • Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for thou art crunchy and taste good with ketchup.
You Could Look It Up

Conjunctions connect words or groups of words and show how they are related.

Quoth the Maven

Use this mnemonic to help you remember the seven coordinating conjunctions: FANBOYS (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so).

All Tied Up

Underline the coordinating conjunctions in each sentence.

  1. There are two kinds of air travel in the United States: first class and with children.
  2. Almost certainly not Oscar Wilde's last words: “Either this wallpaper goes or I do.”
  3. Winston Churchill said, “History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it.”
  4. The only reason I intend to take up jogging is so that I can hear heavy breathing again.
  5. It's lonely at the top, but you eat better there.


  1. and
  2. or
  3. for
  4. so
  5. but
  • after
  • as long as
  • although
  • as soon as
  • as
  • as though
  • as if
  • because
  • before
  • till
  • even though
  • unless
  • if
  • until
  • in order that
  • when
  • since
  • whenever
  • so, so that
  • where
  • though
  • wherever

Fit to Be Tied

Underline the conjunctions in each sentence.

  1. Never argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level, then beat you with experience.
  2. Don't be irreplaceable—if you can't be replaced, you can't be promoted.
  3. After any salary raise, you will have less money at the end of the month than you did before.
  4. When you don't know what to do, walk fast and look worried.
  5. You can go anywhere you want if you look serious and carry a clipboard.
  6. As I told you, work with me, baby.
  7. Since my car is costlier, newer, and flashier than yours, I have the right-of-way.
  8. No sense being pessimistic because it probably wouldn't work anyway
  9. Unless you have a doctor's note, it is illegal to buy ice cream after 6 P.M. in Newark, New Jersey.
  10. When confronted by a difficult problem, you can solve it more easily by reducing it to the question, “How would the Lone Ranger handle this?”
1. then 6. as
2. if7. since
3. after8. because
4. when9. unless
5. if10. when
book cover

Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Grammar and Style © 2003 by Laurie E. Rozakis, Ph.D.. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book direct from the publisher, visit the Penguin USA website or call 1-800-253-6476. You can also purchase this book at and Barnes & Noble.

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